Tuesday, 12 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 2 : 5-12

The Angels were not given dominion over the new world of which we are speaking. Instead someone declared in Scripture : What is man, that You should be mindful of him, what is the Son of Man that You should care for Him? For a while You placed Him a little lower than the Angels, but You crowned Him with glory and honour. You have given Him dominion over all things.

When it is said that God gave Him dominion over all things, nothing is excluded. As it is, we do not yet see His dominion over all things. But Jesus Who suffered death and for a little while was placed lower than the Angels has been crowned with honour and glory. For the merciful plan of God demanded that He experience death on behalf of everyone.

God, from Whom all come and by Whom all things exist, wanted to bring many children to glory, and He thought it fitting to make perfect through suffering the Initiator of their salvation. So He Who gives and those who receive holiness are one. He Himself is not ashamed of calling us brothers and sisters, as we read : Lord, I will proclaim Your Name to My brothers; I will praise You in the congregation.

Monday, 11 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we embark on the first day of the current Ordinary Time season of this current liturgical year, we are reminded of the calling that all of us have received as Christians, that each and every one of us have received the same urging and calling from the Lord to be His disciples and followers as the Apostles had once been called.

In our Gospel passage today we heard of the account of the calling of the first of the Twelve Apostles, whom the Lord called just right after He began His ministry with His baptism at the Jordan. He went to the region of Galilee, near His own hometown of Nazareth, and found there the four fishermen, the brothers St. Peter and St. Andrew, as well as the brothers St. James and St. John, the sons of Zebedee.

The Lord came to them and called them, and they responded in kind, leaving everything behind, their boat and profession, and even their family behind in order to follow the Lord. In some historical accounts and according to the tradition of the Church, St. Andrew was one of the two disciples of St. John the Baptist, to whom the servant of God revealed the identity of the Saviour of the world, the Lamb of God.

It was therefore likely that St. Andrew introduced the Lord to his brother St. Peter as well as to the other fellow fishermen, and thus, having heard that the One before them was someone truly special and unique, and probably touched by His charisma and authority, they responded to His call and dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to His cause from then onwards.

The Lord has called His disciples to follow Him, and they responded in kind, committing themselves to Him, the One Whom the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews spoke of as the Radiance of God’s Glory revealed to the whole world, and as the One Whom God called as His own Son. And this revelation of truth had been made to all of us through the Church and the faith passed down to us.

Now, what all of us need to realise is that each and every one of us have a responsibility and duty to respond to God’s call much as how the Apostles had responded to Him. As we begin this season of the Ordinary Time after Christmas, it is easy for us to misunderstand the nature and importance of this time. Although it may be known as the ‘Ordinary’ Time, but it is by no means ordinary at all.

On the contrary, these passages from the Scriptures serve as an important reminder for us all to keep our focus on the Lord and to respond to His call to action. We must not let our days and moments just pass us by without anything significant or noteworthy in how we live our lives, especially in following Christ and His commandments and path. We are reminded that our actions are very important, and we need to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles in following the Lord.

There are still many areas in which our contributions and efforts are needed, and the works began by the Apostles are still very much in progress. The Lord has entrusted to us His Church the great commission, to go forth to all the peoples of all the nations and baptise them all in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Yet, there are still so many out there who have not yet known the Lord, or refused to believe in Him.

It is therefore up to us to make the Lord known among the people, and not just by mere words and proclamations, but even more importantly, through our actions and faith. If we are not living our faith in the way that we should have lived them, then how can we expect others to follow the Lord in the same way? How can we expect them to believe in God if we ourselves have not genuinely believed in Him?

Let us all discern all these as we proceed through these next few days and weeks ahead. Let us all be true Christians in all words and deeds, in all things, so that through us, God may be glorified and made known, and more people will come to believe in Him through us. May God bless each and every one of us, and guide us in our every good efforts and endeavours, for His greater glory. Amen.

Monday, 11 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 14-20

At that time, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”

As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Him.

Jesus went a little farther on, and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately, Jesus called them and they followed Him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.

Monday, 11 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 96 : 1 and 2b, 6 and 7c, 9

YHVH reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the distant islands be glad. Justice and right, are His throne.

The heavens proclaim His justice, all peoples see His glory. Let all spirits bow before Him.

For You are the Master of the universe, exalted far above all gods.

Monday, 11 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 1 : 1-6

God has spoken in the past to our ancestors through the prophets, in many different ways, although never completely; but in our times He has spoken definitively to us through His Son. He is the one God appointed Heir of all things, since through Him He unfolded the stages of the world.

He is the Radiance of God’s Glory and bears the stamp of God’s hidden being, so that His powerful Word upholds the universe. And after taking away sin, He took His place at the right hand of the Divine Majesty in heaven. So He is now far superior to Angels just as the Name He received sets Him apart from them.

To what Angel did God say : You are My Son, I have begotten You today? And to what Angel did He promise : I shall be a Father to Him and He will be a Son to Me? On sending His Firstborn to the world, God says : “Let all the Angels adore Him.”